Congratulations! You have made the decision to quit smoking. Quitting smoking may not be easy. It often takes support from others—family, friends, coworkers—even the Internet. Here is a list of support systems that can help.
Counselors can offer ways to quit as well as motivation. Counselors can work with you one-on-one or in group settings with other smokers. You may be taking medicine to help you quit. If so, pairing medicine with counseling can increase your chance of quitting. If money is a problem, contact your insurance company. Counseling may be covered under your plan.
During sessions, you will explore:
- What triggers make you want to smoke? Perhaps you want to smoke when you are around others smoking. Or maybe certain emotions, like stress, prompt you to smoke.
- How can you control the urge to smoke? You will develop and practice coping skills. You can use them when you feel the need to reach for a cigarette.
- When do you want to quit? You will set an official quit date. This will give you something to aim for. It may also increase your chance of quitting.
You will also work on:
Tobacco-proofing your home and car —This involves removing anything that reminds you of smoking. You will get rid of cigarettes, matches, lighters, and ashtrays.
Getting educated —You will learn about the dangers of smoking and ways to quit.
Building your social support network —You will be encouraged to get support from others. It will help to talk with friends, family, and smokers who have quit. They can keep you focused, especially when things are tough.
Telephone and Text Counseling
Some counseling services are available by phone. Online there is a list of quit lines for the US and Canada by state and province. You can also check with your local health department or clinic. They may offer free counseling and support through their quit lines. You can also call 1-800-QUIT-NOW to connect with your state’s tobacco quit line.
LiveHelp is a service from the National Cancer Institute. They provide information and advice about quitting. This is done through web-based chat messaging with a quit smoking counselor.
Text messaging is another way to stay motivated. Text messages can provide encouragement and advice around the clock. Register for text messaging at the smokefree.gov website.
You can also find quit smoking programs online. Just log on and register. They will provide tools for quitting. Some online smoking cessation programs are free. Others require paid membership. Here are some programs you may want to learn more about:
Truth Initiative: Programs to Quit Smoking and Vaping
This is a free program that offers proven methods to help you quit smoking. It has a large network of smokers and ex-smokers. They help keep you focused. It also offers:
- Interactive quitting tools, video, live chat, text messages and email
- Medicine to help you quit smoking
- Personal coaching
Freedom From Smoking, American Lung Association
This online program includes:
- Interactive lessons to help you quit smoking
- Live phone and chat support
- An online community
Smoke Free, National Cancer Institute
This website provides:
- Tools and tips to help you build your own quit plan
- Live online chat with a trained counselor
- Texting programs
- Quit smoking apps
There's an App for That
If you want to quit smoking, use your smartphone. There are several free apps that can help. Just use a basic word search in your app store. Download it to your device, and you will be ready.
Many workplaces offer quit smoking programs. Some create team competitions. This helps increase motivation and quitting. It is also a great way to get support from coworkers. Some employers reward smokers who quit. They take less money out of their paychecks for insurance.
Spirituality and Smoking Cessation
Some people find that spiritual support helps them quit smoking. If this interests you, look for spiritual activities that fit you. You can try places of worship or spiritual groups. There are many to choose from.
A guide to quit smoking methods. Tobacco Cessation website. Available at: http://tobacco-cessation.org/whatworkstoquit/NTCCguide.pdf. Accessed June 25, 2021.
Clearing the air. Quit smoking today. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://smokefree.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/clearing-the-air-accessible.pdf. Accessed June 25, 2021.
Counseling for tobacco cessation. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/counseling-for-tobacco-cessation. Accessed June 25, 2021.
Help employees stop smoking. American Lung Association website. Available at: https://www.lung.org/help-support/corporate-wellness/help-employees-stop-smoking . Accessed June 25, 2021.
NCI launches smoking cessatoin support for teens. National Institutes of Health website. Available at: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nci-launches-smoking-cessation-support-teens.Accessed June 25, 2021.
Smokefree TXT. Smoke Free website. Available at: https://smokefree.gov/tools-tips/text-programs/quit-for-good/smokefreetxt Accessed June 25, 2021.
Last reviewed June 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Last Updated: 6/25/2021